• Want to support a good cause? Visit https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ to see how you can help the Black Lives Matter movement, even without donating.
  • This spooky-themed special episode wraps up the inaugural season of The Writer's Locke! As a sweetener we’ve included a roundtable with glancesherlock, all about Gracidea! Clocking in at around 100 minutes, this episode is an absolute chonker and an utter delight. Thank you for your support, Nuzforums!
  • New here and still figuring out the site? Check out the New User Guide and FAQ for some help!
  • Trying to figure out how the different forums have changed? This thread is the place for you.
  • One of our new features includes receiving a message on Discord when you have alerts. Find out how, here!
  • Have you seen our Stream tab? It let's you peek in and chat with our forum streamers on-site, from both Twitch AND Picarto! You can even view multiple streams at once. You can submit your own channel via Streams > Submit Channel.
  • If you're a fan of giving and recieving constructive criticism check out this resource about Critique Level Tags!

Written Story Galar Mature dandelion

Thread Description
a retrospective Shield Storylocke | ix. promise

localhoney

grook
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
2002
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
241
Location
Miami, FL
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Electric, Poison
Pokédex Entry
Localhoney, the Sweet Toxin Pokemon. It's said that the sounds it emits can paralyze even a Gigantamax Grimmsnarl.
Oh damn, I meant to drop a comment on this yesterday but I guess I forgot. All the more reason to gush and read the chapter again.

You do such a great job with the relationships between characters in very little time, so that once they're interacting we already know how the relationship works and what to expect. Particularly teen Hop vs Sonia, I'm interested to learn more about that later on.

The entire Sonia and Leon relationship is painfully true to life. Prickly but occasionally a good natured jab or flirt gets through and kinda breaks down the ice a bit. Just to get immediately replaced when Sonia notices. I wonder if their relationship is like that purely as a result of Leon's celebrity merging with his absent-mindedness and Sonia getting left by the wayside, or something deeper.

Great update and I'm already dying for another one!
 

Magicforbeginners

Generally Incompetent
Pokédex No.
2001
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
37
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Draws, writes, lives. Poorly, but always improving.
This is cute. Top-notch writing and descriptions. Sonia's great and I enjoy any fic with more Sonia, but what I most enjoy is when someone takes the simple character building blocks from the game and goes wild with it-which is exactly what happens here! I can't think of too much more to say, so I'll leave off by saying this is great and I want more of it.
 

Squiggy Azalea

big chungus pls DM me 😳
Moderator
🎇Contributor
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
15
Caught
May 20, 2019
Messages
658
Location
italy
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Electric, Tough
Pokédex Entry
pizza pasta mamma mia
I really like how this run takes Sonia's point of view! It's often interesting to see how writers can flesh out certain characters by sharing their PoV, and this is no different! I also like ur characterizations of the swsh characters, esp. ur interactions with leon and sonia omg
really looking forward to see how this will go in the future 👀
 

SilverDoe

Kanto League Champion
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
37
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
163
Location
Verdanturf Town
Nature
Timid
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Water, Ghost
This is a nice start to the story! Sonia does feel really relatable, and also I'm already sympathizing with her heavily. I was intrigued by her too, when I played Shield, and wished there'd been more of her, so it's neat to read this story from her perspective! I'm really curious to see where it goes from here and to see Sonia's story unfold.

I'm also so glad you included the "great cook" line and definitely pinpointed how ridiculous it is. I love how Sonia reacts to it. I'm really curious to learn more about her journey as a trainer and what all happened there. The hints we've gotten are already tantalizing. I also can't wait to find out exactly how Hop feels about her and why.

My biggest takeaway from these first two chapters is how much it feels like there's a ton going on beneath the surface. It sets up intriguing characters that I'm looking forward to seeing more of and getting to know even better.
 

Thirteenth

eternally crying over the botw trilogy
Writer
Pokédex No.
14
Caught
May 20, 2019
Messages
1,759
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ice
Pokédex Entry
The reason she guides people all the way down to the mountain's base is that she wants them to hurry up and leave.
She freezes with her handle on the knob, takes a millisecond to compose herself, and then turns and gives him what she hopes passes as a pleasant smile. "Leon." He's staring, like she was the last person on earth he was expecting to see here, in this cottage where they practically grew up together. Like he's seeing a ghost.

Maybe that's not too far off.

The person on the other end of the line is still jabbering. Sonia blinks languidly, tilting her head to the side, and nods at his rotom phone. "You gonna…?"
He's in love.

"It has," she says, keeping her voice level even as her heartbeat quickens. Her eyes skim over him briefly -- she doesn't allow herself to linger. Not on his taut shirt, nor his five o' clock shadow, and definitely not on his amber eyes. "You're looking well."
She's also in love.

Her Boltund leans into her touch, stretching with a weary sigh, and her fingers brush over a thin, hairless line of scar tissue across his throat.

Her own throat tightens. Too young. They're starting them too young.
And I'm still :') at this


can I request an extra to see how Leon felt when he realized Sonia disappeared
 

Missy

i left my heart in alola
Writer
Pokédex No.
94
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
122
Nature
Lax
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Tough
Pokédex Entry
nanu for hire (rates may vary, payment upfront)
I have a theory as to why Hop dislikes Sonia so much, and it's because..... she brought cole slaw. YUCK. Sonia, honey, you could have chosen anything else.

But seriously, how dare you tease all the past hang-ups and drama and not explain any of juicy details. Where's the promised retrospective? Hand it over, please!

Also, you better be glad your writing is so good otherwise I don't know how else I could read a run where you make Leon HOT. That is not a hot man. That is a man who rolled through a Lids store covered in tar. That is a man who got dressed on a dare. He makes his facial hair look like that ON PURPOSE, no ill-placed duct-tape involved! If nothing else it proves that Sonia really likes him under all that pent up resentment. "Taut chest, five o' clock shadow" my ass, Sonia, those do not overshadow the fact that he is wearing a QUILT. You just like Leon for Leon, woman. Get over yourself and propose.
 

Garish Garchomp

Friendly Neighborhood Landshark
Administrator
Moderator
🌱Featurer
Writer
Pokédex No.
43
Caught
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
519
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
he's ok i guess
The contrast between Gizmo and Sonia at the start 😭 and of course Magnolia just fuckin carks it for the night to leave her to her anxieties. Classic.

So adorable to see Hop chatting with his friend and being so upbeat. Shame that’s gonna get destroyed when his quiet lil friend there starts demolishing everyone and their brothers. Literally.

Holy fuck though, you do not hold back when talking about the the Harris boys and it’s great. Hop being… well, I’d say an uppity and clingy lil shit, but I could also just say he’s 13 and leave it at that. Especially a 13 year old kid who’s the little brother of the champion, it just fits to a T, especially when it’s coming from this Sonia’s point of view. And then Leon being just a famous himbo, enough said really.

At least Victor is nice. And quiet (a nice and understated touch). And he chose (and immediately bonded with) Sobble, so he really is the hero of the story.

Again though, the way you fill Sonia with life, the consideration into her from the cocktail of emotions she’s going through at all times at this party, to the little moment with her bolted that says so much about so much (from her to the world as a whole), to just the last scenes there that show so much nerve and… not quite hurt, but almost? Just grappling with so much, really, but not in a way that just out and states it or anything. It’s such a joy to read your interpretation and expansion on all this, seriously.
 

scrimshanks

Codename: Slif
Writer
Pokédex No.
2151
Caught
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Jubilife City
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
aaaaa Aurea!!! I've already mentioned to you how much I adore this run, but I finally got around to leaving a formal comment on it because it absolutely deserves it!!
This is such a good opening!! Immediately, it establishes Sonia as a character (one that I can very much relate to, ahaaaaah) and Sonia's nerves serve as an immediate hook for the chapter and the story at large. The way you use detailed descriptions of Sonia going about her cleaning is such a perfect representation of the feeling of trying to distract yourself from something, especially since each description pushes the reveal of Leon's homecoming further and further back. There is a bizarre (but good!) sense of disconnect between Sonia and the reader, because I was eager to find out what she was putting off while she, obviously, wanted to avoid it altogether. Overall, an awesome start! Also...
“Good,” Gran muses, reaching over to tap Sonia’s calf lightly with her cane, “I thought I’d raised you with more sense than to worry over a man, of all things.”

She gives her gran a tight smile, depositing the wadded paper towel in the trash and stowing the glass cleaner away in one swift movement. The Leon she knew wasn’t a man. He was just a boy -- reckless, earnest, with unruly hair and no sense of direction. She inhales sharply and tries to remember this version of the unbeatable Champion. It’s easier that way.

“I think I’ll manage.”
This is SUCH a killer section. I don't even care where the story goes from here, I'm hooked, just from this one bit. Sonia, Gran, hints of the past... I love it all. Take me away.
If the first chapter did a phenomenal job establishing the tone and themes as well as our protagonist (also, Sonia Stans rise up, because I forgot to mention it), this chapter does a wonderful job beginning to fleshing all those things out and expanding upon them.
He's almost cute, the way his forehead pinches when he frowns. He sets down his food and walks over, hands stuffed in his pockets churlishly. "If you're looking for Lee, he's--"

"I'm not," she assures him coolly. "Your mum invited Gran and me."

He relaxes a bit. "Oh, yeah. You help give out the Pokedexes 'n stuff to new challengers now, right?"
I love Hop, but this is a side to him we don't really get to see in-game... and I adore it. He's got huge Little Brother Energy just in the small amount of time we see him, and it's very fascinating that he reacts so coolly to Sonia (until he can get something out of her, ahah). I'm really looking forward to seeing how his and Sonia's dynamic continues to play out!
"Sonia?"

She freezes with her handle on the knob, takes a millisecond to compose herself, and then turns and gives him what she hopes passes as a pleasant smile. "Leon." He's staring, like she was the last person on earth he was expecting to see here, in this cottage where they practically grew up together. Like he's seeing a ghost.

Maybe that's not too far off.
And there it is. This entire section is SO good. I can't even begin—I am absolutely enthralled by the immediate relationship you set up with Sonia and Leon, and you do an awesome job playing on the reader's expectations, considering in-game they're mostly just buddy-buddy with each other. Sonia's bitterness riding up against Leon's clueless is like watching a trainwreck, you just can't look away. I absolutely adore Sonia and this chapter really just highlights why I'm so excited for this story: getting to see her inner thoughts, getting to really explore how it feels to be someone's rival once and then be nearly left in the dust after... I can already tell, it is going to be amazing.

Also, I find it really interesting how Sonia's feelings on Leon are all kinda jumbled up. In the first one, I read her anxiety as more the nerves of seeing someone you haven't seen in a while, someone who is much more successful than you. But here that anxiety kinda gets tangled up with happiness, bitterness and sadness (and also lingering attraction? I ship it), and she kinda jumps around between them all. You do an awesome job portraying that experience of having incredibly mixed feelings for someone you have a lot of history with.

Also, you keep hinting at stuff that happened in the past and I'm both terrified and excited to get more information on Sonia and Leon's journey. Her stressing out about how young Victor was, in particular, was quite concerning. Looking forward to seeing what happens there.

Lastly, I wanna talk about Leon for a sec. You do an AWESOME job establishing him, and I left this chapter feeling almost exactly the same way Sonia feels about him: incredibly conflicted. Obviously, he's a little clueless, and he definitely comes across as not fully seeing how Sonia is feeling or why she reacts the way she does (him not understanding why she might be upset he's leaving right away stands out)... but also he's so nice and sweet and clearly does appreciate Sonia's friendship, even if he isn't always great at keeping in touch (which, also, relatable). Though despite him being pretty clueless, I also wonder if him approaching during Hop and Victor's battle and complimenting her was as a result of what Hop said earlier? Or possible residual guilt from something in their past? It felt a little too on-the-nose considering Sonia's inner turmoil to be a complete coincidence.
He brightens. "You are! And a brilliant researcher, a patient teacher. And a great trainer," he adds, reaching down to stroke Gizmo's snout. She sneaks a glance at him, and he gives her a lopsided smile that makes her knees feel weak.
Me too, Sonia. Me too.
Thank you for this absolutely glorious content, and I'm eagerly looking forward to more!
 

Aurea

Moderator
Moderator
🎇Contributor
Writer
Pokédex No.
25
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
730
Location
Sinnoh Region
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Psychic, Steel
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #29
You know, I'm not sure what to call this feeling of like, "nostalgia but sad," but man you portrayed it perfectly. The melancholy of being in old spaces that used to be comforting but now put you on edge or just make you miss how things used to be is so hard to nail down but its just all over Sonia here and its so engaging to read her interacting with an environment like that. Her sadness (and annoyance later on with Leon) feel so understandable, even tho it probably doesnt look like it is from the outside. And that last line was just a superb strike right to the heart. Really fantastic job you did here!
Oh, I'm so glad to hear it felt melancholy to you! That's definitely what I was aiming for, especially with Sonia returning to a place where she spent so much of her younger years. Thank you so much! ^^

ugh sonia's mix of vaguely horny but also very aware of herself and prickly is incredibly relatable content! I hate feeling this seen! I also super enjoy the sort of informal jumble of this family gathering. The liveliness and the little pockets of quiet in it are things that I think you excel at portraying. Hop is a bean and a sprout! Looking forward to more!
Ah, I'm so happy it felt lively, even with some of the quieter moments interspersed! I honestly really liked the idea of having a sendoff party in the games, and there was a lot of opportunity to be had at an event like that for Sonia, but I wanted to keep it brief and meaningful. c:

I'm really a fan of this already! I think the best part of this so far is, for lack of a more articulate way of putting it, the "feel" of things. The way the narration describes things, the emotions Sonia feels, you really get to see the world through her eyes, and her viewpoint as you've constructed it so far is a very interesting one. Whatever happened between her and Leon in the past, it's clear how much it's weighing on her right now, and honestly I think the way you show how that impacts her is fascinating. It's early days yet, but it'll be interesting to see where things go from here, especially between those two.

So...yeah. Looking forward to reading more!
You don't know how much of a relief it is to hear that the "feel" is right! This is my first time posting anything outside of my main project in the past 8ish years, and I was nervous I wouldn't be able to effectively capture some of the things you mentioned. Sonia's POV is very fun to explore, and I hope you continue to enjoy!

Oh god, that sort of awkward, moderately uncomfortable but not entirely negative nostalgia when Sonia and Leon interact or when she reminisces on their past together.. that's an Entire Mood right there. Like, seeing someone you were close to once after years of not talking only to see they're doing great while you're sort of stuck in a rut? I felt that.

(Spoilered for medical/health/hospital mention, not explicit, but a heads up for those that are uncomfortable with that topic) Back in December a friend of mine had to go to the ER (they're alright now, in the process of getting treatment for the condition that sent them there) and I was with them, and one of the workers at the front - Not sure if she was a nurse or just an assistant, but either way - was one of my friends from high school who I hadn't spoken to since the summer after graduation when they were working part time at Hot Topic. It's like, damn. You're out here working in the medical field probably making Bank and being Big And Successful and meanwhile I'm out here an assistant manager at a dollar store. Like, what are you supposed to say in a situation like that? And that's basically a big ol chunk of the feel I got from this haha

So basically, that vibe? Is legit.
Oooof, yes, I've definitely been in a similar position with a peer -- and you hit the nail on the head! Sonia is definitely struggling with some of those things, so I'm really glad the writing and tone conveyed that vibe. But there are different measures of success, and it doesn't always equal happiness, and I'm excited to explore that through Sonia. c: Thank you for commenting!

so glad I popped while the thread's early--and so excited it's finally here! yes!!!

like you, I was also captivated by Sonia when I first met her in SwSh--super relatable, insecure, uncertain of her future. I felt like she had such untapped potential and this run is stoking that fire even more. I like the dynamics you're exploring between Sonia and characters like Magnolia and Hop; they seem like natural extensions of the characters, and it's freshing to see Hop in particular from someone who basically doesn't see him as anything more than a brat XD

the changes are great as well. Gizmo being a Boltund instead of a Yamper is a great touch, and that scar alludes to so much... at first I wondered if Leon wasn't responsible, but the way he interacts with Gizmo is giving me second thoughts. Raihan, maybe? or a gym battle? either way, adds such poignancy to that thought of them starting early...

that last line is great too, so moody and understated. I kinda get that's where the title comes from. Sonia's just being blown this way and that, coming and going quietly, never feeling at home, drifting like the seed of a dandelion...

looking forward to more :)
Yes, so much untapped potential in Sonia! I'm always so happy to hear I'm not the only one that felt that way (I feel like Sonia's whole vibe is just, very millenial-esque). There's definitely a story behind that scar, and I'm glad it adds to the poignancy of the moment. It definitely contributes to Sonia's reservations about them starting so young.

Oooh, yes! I love that. I actually have to give credit to @Thirteenth for the title of the story -- it can take on a lot of different meanings (both literal and more abstract), and that's why it's grown on me so much. ^^ Thank you for checking this out, Dee!!

oho, this is a refreshing take on hop! it's pretty great seeing him from the perspective of someone who doesn't think so highly of him the perils of the source material being intended for the young'uns

bratty hop is fun, busy overworked leon is fun, but aaa i hope sonia gets a break soon, she deserves it :(
Hop has somehow stolen the show for me and become one of my favorites to write in this story? So it brings me joy that he's been received so well! But yeah, he's definitely a teenager, and I'm hoping to make that show while not diminishing his heart of gold. ;w;

As I said before, welcome to the multi-story club. Everybody eventually slips on the slope. Also: dande-leon.

Time to get acquainted with Galar's characters through fanfiction (since I'm beyond lazy playing Shield thus far, three and a half weeks in owning it haha.)

Can't say that's an anxious habit I have. Serious though, little habits like that, when a character's stressed or handling anxiety, is such a real character trait. Right out the gate we get a look at something that's a pretty deep part of Sonia's instincts. Man, I already love Magnolia; she's not mean, but she lets her granddaughter have it. The mausoleum joke got me a good laugh. She has no mercy on Sonia, goodness haha.

I like how you jump right in with the two of them. Super clear chemistry, both in Magnolia's teasing and then switching to serious mode. Doubly so in tandem with the brevity of the first part. I'm a sucker for shorter chapters, especially when it's clear a lot goes into a little. Something something less is more and all that jazz that I'm a giant fan of haha. And of course Sonia's nervous tic of twirling her hair made it into the story; something about the gesture in-game is neat to me; all too easy to avoid such small things in animation. Already wondering just how her and Unbeatable Bro are gonna be like interacting.

Fight the good fight. Do your best to honor the buffer and not let the devil tempt you (god is it fucking hard, as I'm learning with my own story haha.)

Man. Family and friends get-togethers are the best. Super home-y vibes, with the food and the fire pit and everything. It's a Pokemon game, so of course everything is real happy and rainbows and all that jazz, but that was one thing I did get a sense of: for all the extraness around Leon, it did feel like the player character and Hop's family got along real well growing up. I like how you got that going on here... though that said, Hop and Sonia don't seem the best of friends and I'm already wondering why.

Borderline arrogant. Hmmmmm.

Oh man. Looooads of tension. Bless Sonia for her restraint 'cause she really seems like she'd smack the shit out of Leon if the laws of public decency didn't stay her hand. It's early, so I could easily be reading it wrong, but I'm getting the feeling that she's real bent out of shape over Leon ascending to Poke-Godhood in Galar for being such a famous and unbeatable guy... and man, if that's the case, I feel for Sonia. That sucks, seeing your friend really change that way; he doesn't seem like an asshole over it, which in a way maybe stings more? It doesn't seem like he means any offense, but he's clueless to Sonia. Then of course Hop twisting the dagger by his older brother worship. Man, you've turned Hop into an absolute little teenager shit. It's polite to take the high ground, especially since she's older than Hop... but I couldn't blame Sonia if she put him in his place in his own home, at his own celebration. Might miss out on future get-togethers though.

Good choice, Victor.

Man. That hit hard, with Sonia thinking they're starting so young. Literally all you did was have her introspection and slightly touching Gizmo's scar, and man, was that all you needed to get that point across.

Having a crush is already bad enough to deal with, especially on someone you've grown up with. But to see it interfered with because of fame and fortune (and as Leon said, it's a job), that's even rougher. It's easy to label him as a bit of a 'bad guy', from Sonia's perspective, but I wonder what a cut to his point of view would reveal; the fact I'm wondering that shows how nicely you've done introducing everybody as actual human beings haha. Non-story related, I've found it easy to dislike Leon (he wears a cape and is a champion, he's got asshole Lance/Clair vibes, I cannot budge on this)--but I really like how you've taken his celebrity status and mixed it in with not entirely keeping up with his friends and family post-fame (at least, I think I've read this vibe right.) I usually give all the npcs a fair shake in stories, because writers make them more than just a static character in-game, but I've already taken to your versions of them all, even in spite of not really vibing with Galar in my short time with it.

Nostalgia is so strong, and I can't help but feel for Sonia. You're killing the millennial vibes with her haha.
I'm honored to help you get acquainted with it! SWSH definitely catches a lot of flak (not all of it undeserved), but even though there was some missed potential with characters, the groundwork they laid made it ripe for the fanworking. ^^ Magnolia is a savage, and I plan not to let anyone (especially Sonia) forget it. Excited that their chemistry came across, I was worried the shorter pieces might detract from it a bit.

It is so HARD to resist posting buffer... thankfully(?) I start my Masters program in a few weeks, and I'll have a lot less time to think about it. Picked the best time to join the multi-run club, huh? xD

Hop and Sonia's past is a little less complicated than her past with Leon, but it's all sorta intertwined and jumbled up in a way that I'm really excited to unravel. I'm beyond flattered that you've taken to my versions of these characters, especially those you're not incredibly fond of. Hopefully you continue to enjoy! Thank you for the lovely comments. ;w;

Oh damn, I meant to drop a comment on this yesterday but I guess I forgot. All the more reason to gush and read the chapter again.

You do such a great job with the relationships between characters in very little time, so that once they're interacting we already know how the relationship works and what to expect. Particularly teen Hop vs Sonia, I'm interested to learn more about that later on.

The entire Sonia and Leon relationship is painfully true to life. Prickly but occasionally a good natured jab or flirt gets through and kinda breaks down the ice a bit. Just to get immediately replaced when Sonia notices. I wonder if their relationship is like that purely as a result of Leon's celebrity merging with his absent-mindedness and Sonia getting left by the wayside, or something deeper.

Great update and I'm already dying for another one!
Ahh, thank you! Means a lot to hear that it felt like a lot of ground was covered with these characters in a short amount of time. I'm trying to strike a balance of digging in deep and giving some good insights, but not dwelling too long on any one scene/moment. I'm glad you're looking forward to more Hop and Sonia, because they're probably my favorite dynamic to write so far!

This is cute. Top-notch writing and descriptions. Sonia's great and I enjoy any fic with more Sonia, but what I most enjoy is when someone takes the simple character building blocks from the game and goes wild with it-which is exactly what happens here! I can't think of too much more to say, so I'll leave off by saying this is great and I want more of it.
Oh, thank you so much!! I really really love taking the basic framework for a character and imagining all the intricacies involved and how those might impact their interactions, so this has been very indulgent writing for me. ^^; Thank you for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy!

I really like how this run takes Sonia's point of view! It's often interesting to see how writers can flesh out certain characters by sharing their PoV, and this is no different! I also like ur characterizations of the swsh characters, esp. ur interactions with leon and sonia omg
really looking forward to see how this will go in the future 👀
Thank you so much! c: I'm having a lot of fun not only exploring Sonia's inner workings, but also the other characters of Galar through her POV. I'm so happy to hear you like the characterizations so far! ;w;

This is a nice start to the story! Sonia does feel really relatable, and also I'm already sympathizing with her heavily. I was intrigued by her too, when I played Shield, and wished there'd been more of her, so it's neat to read this story from her perspective! I'm really curious to see where it goes from here and to see Sonia's story unfold.

I'm also so glad you included the "great cook" line and definitely pinpointed how ridiculous it is. I love how Sonia reacts to it. I'm really curious to learn more about her journey as a trainer and what all happened there. The hints we've gotten are already tantalizing. I also can't wait to find out exactly how Hop feels about her and why.

My biggest takeaway from these first two chapters is how much it feels like there's a ton going on beneath the surface. It sets up intriguing characters that I'm looking forward to seeing more of and getting to know even better.
I'm so happy to hear I'm not the only one who wished they'd done more with Sonia! I loved the basic framework they laid out for her, but felt like there was a lot of missed potential. And hehe, I'm very excited to see you picked up on the line about her being a good cook. That was the moment I was squinting real hard at Leon/Sonia's relationship, and fell in love with Sonia (that and when she called Hop a "right fount of information", her sarcasm was spot on). I'm really excited to start touching on some of her background/journey. Which, we get our first flashback in this chapter. 👀

He's in love.

She's also in love.

And I'm still :') at this


can I request an extra to see how Leon felt when he realized Sonia disappeared
In... love? That's a weird way to spell denial. 🙃 I will happily write that extra for you at some point hehe. 💙

I have a theory as to why Hop dislikes Sonia so much, and it's because..... she brought cole slaw. YUCK. Sonia, honey, you could have chosen anything else.

But seriously, how dare you tease all the past hang-ups and drama and not explain any of juicy details. Where's the promised retrospective? Hand it over, please!

Also, you better be glad your writing is so good otherwise I don't know how else I could read a run where you make Leon HOT. That is not a hot man. That is a man who rolled through a Lids store covered in tar. That is a man who got dressed on a dare. He makes his facial hair look like that ON PURPOSE, no ill-placed duct-tape involved! If nothing else it proves that Sonia really likes him under all that pent up resentment. "Taut chest, five o' clock shadow" my ass, Sonia, those do not overshadow the fact that he is wearing a QUILT. You just like Leon for Leon, woman. Get over yourself and propose.
I cackled so hard at the cole slaw callout. I hate it too, for the record! Though to be fair, she gold voluntold to bring it by Magnolia, so maybe gran over here is the one with shit taste. xD Rolled through a Lids store covered in tar sdfkljas;kdljasd that BURN, jfc. Thank you for this blessed comment. (Also, glad that my writing is holding up enough to compensate for Sonia thirsting after Leon's quilt-wearing ass.)

The contrast between Gizmo and Sonia at the start 😭 and of course Magnolia just fuckin carks it for the night to leave her to her anxieties. Classic.

So adorable to see Hop chatting with his friend and being so upbeat. Shame that’s gonna get destroyed when his quiet lil friend there starts demolishing everyone and their brothers. Literally.

Holy fuck though, you do not hold back when talking about the the Harris boys and it’s great. Hop being… well, I’d say an uppity and clingy lil shit, but I could also just say he’s 13 and leave it at that. Especially a 13 year old kid who’s the little brother of the champion, it just fits to a T, especially when it’s coming from this Sonia’s point of view. And then Leon being just a famous himbo, enough said really.

At least Victor is nice. And quiet (a nice and understated touch). And he chose (and immediately bonded with) Sobble, so he really is the hero of the story.

Again though, the way you fill Sonia with life, the consideration into her from the cocktail of emotions she’s going through at all times at this party, to the little moment with her bolted that says so much about so much (from her to the world as a whole), to just the last scenes there that show so much nerve and… not quite hurt, but almost? Just grappling with so much, really, but not in a way that just out and states it or anything. It’s such a joy to read your interpretation and expansion on all this, seriously.
That was absolutely Magnolia's plan from the start, and honestly, it's on Sonia for not picking up on that ruse right away lmao, she knows her better than that. I'm excited to see you picked up on the contrast between Giz and Sonia a the start (pupper too pure <3), and yes, I will absolutely rag on the Harris boys as much as possible. xD I'm so happy that Hop genuinely seems like a 13 year old, I can't wait to flesh him out a bit beyond that. My goal for Victor, as our beloved player character, is to not write a single damn line of dialogue for him in this story while sort of having him hang around in the background. And yes, he absolutely HAD to pick Sobble because it is best bby, and bc it was the first starter I chose for my own playthrough initially.

😭 I don't even know what to say except thank youuuu. It means a ton coming from you, that Sonia is coming across well and that all these emotions and feelings I'm trying to draw out are coming to life even somewhat organically. ❤

aaaaa Aurea!!! I've already mentioned to you how much I adore this run, but I finally got around to leaving a formal comment on it because it absolutely deserves it!!
This is such a good opening!! Immediately, it establishes Sonia as a character (one that I can very much relate to, ahaaaaah) and Sonia's nerves serve as an immediate hook for the chapter and the story at large. The way you use detailed descriptions of Sonia going about her cleaning is such a perfect representation of the feeling of trying to distract yourself from something, especially since each description pushes the reveal of Leon's homecoming further and further back. There is a bizarre (but good!) sense of disconnect between Sonia and the reader, because I was eager to find out what she was putting off while she, obviously, wanted to avoid it altogether. Overall, an awesome start! Also...

This is SUCH a killer section. I don't even care where the story goes from here, I'm hooked, just from this one bit. Sonia, Gran, hints of the past... I love it all. Take me away.
If the first chapter did a phenomenal job establishing the tone and themes as well as our protagonist (also, Sonia Stans rise up, because I forgot to mention it), this chapter does a wonderful job beginning to fleshing all those things out and expanding upon them.

I love Hop, but this is a side to him we don't really get to see in-game... and I adore it. He's got huge Little Brother Energy just in the small amount of time we see him, and it's very fascinating that he reacts so coolly to Sonia (until he can get something out of her, ahah). I'm really looking forward to seeing how his and Sonia's dynamic continues to play out!

And there it is. This entire section is SO good. I can't even begin—I am absolutely enthralled by the immediate relationship you set up with Sonia and Leon, and you do an awesome job playing on the reader's expectations, considering in-game they're mostly just buddy-buddy with each other. Sonia's bitterness riding up against Leon's clueless is like watching a trainwreck, you just can't look away. I absolutely adore Sonia and this chapter really just highlights why I'm so excited for this story: getting to see her inner thoughts, getting to really explore how it feels to be someone's rival once and then be nearly left in the dust after... I can already tell, it is going to be amazing.

Also, I find it really interesting how Sonia's feelings on Leon are all kinda jumbled up. In the first one, I read her anxiety as more the nerves of seeing someone you haven't seen in a while, someone who is much more successful than you. But here that anxiety kinda gets tangled up with happiness, bitterness and sadness (and also lingering attraction? I ship it), and she kinda jumps around between them all. You do an awesome job portraying that experience of having incredibly mixed feelings for someone you have a lot of history with.

Also, you keep hinting at stuff that happened in the past and I'm both terrified and excited to get more information on Sonia and Leon's journey. Her stressing out about how young Victor was, in particular, was quite concerning. Looking forward to seeing what happens there.

Lastly, I wanna talk about Leon for a sec. You do an AWESOME job establishing him, and I left this chapter feeling almost exactly the same way Sonia feels about him: incredibly conflicted. Obviously, he's a little clueless, and he definitely comes across as not fully seeing how Sonia is feeling or why she reacts the way she does (him not understanding why she might be upset he's leaving right away stands out)... but also he's so nice and sweet and clearly does appreciate Sonia's friendship, even if he isn't always great at keeping in touch (which, also, relatable). Though despite him being pretty clueless, I also wonder if him approaching during Hop and Victor's battle and complimenting her was as a result of what Hop said earlier? Or possible residual guilt from something in their past? It felt a little too on-the-nose considering Sonia's inner turmoil to be a complete coincidence.

Me too, Sonia. Me too.
Thank you for this absolutely glorious content, and I'm eagerly looking forward to more!
I'm so fucking happy that people are finding Sonia relatable as well. 😭 I loved her SO much in the games, so I'm really excited to explore her POV here. Also glad you adore this version of Hop hehe, he gets a lot of hate but I actually loved the hell out of him in-game, and his and Sonia's dynamic has been my favorite so far to write. c: But aaaaa, I'm so happy you like Sonia and Leon's relationship so far! Things are definitely jumbled for her --they've got yeeeears worth of feelings and memories tangled up in a messy knot, and it's going to take a lot to unravel it. I'm glad that comes across well and doesn't seem too... all over the place?

Aaaa thank you, Leon didn't come as naturally as Sonia and Hop did at first, so I'm SUPER excited to hear that you feel conflicted about him, too. You're right that he's not entirely clueless -- he knows Sonia really well, and he could tell that conversation didn't sit well with her.

Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment! ;;;w;;;

iii. "focus"

“Earth to Leon. Are you even listening?”

He’s got his face buried in his arms on the table and hood pulled up over his head, completely unresponsive. She sighs, and leans over to give him a quick poke between the ribs. He nearly jumps out of his chair, clutching his side dramatically, and she can’t help but smirk at his look of betrayal. “Sunnyyyyy,” he whines, “you know I’m ticklish…”

“I also know you need to ace this test if you plan to get passing marks,” she says sternly, shuffling the flashcards she made for him back into the deck. When he doesn’t look up, she turns to face him, pinning him with a look modeled after Gran. “Do you want to get accepted into the dojo or not?”

“Of course I do,” he grumbles, slouching further into his chair.

“So what’s the problem?”

“What if…” he trails off, rubbing at the back of his neck. It’s his tell for embarrassment, uncertainty -- something that rarely surfaces outside of their tutoring sessions. “What if, after all this studying, after all this hard work… what if it’s still not enough?”

Sonia purses her lips, taps the deck of flashcards against the table to make sure they’re flush, and then whaps him on the arm with them. He yelps, surprised, and she swats at him once more for good measure. “Hey -- jeez, what was that for?”

“For implying that you could possibly fail with me as your teacher,” she says. He slumps against the counter with a huff, and she softens a bit. When she prods him again, it’s gentle. “Hey, look at me. You’re going to do great on this test, you’re going to get into the dojo, and when you do?” He lifts his head a bit, and she grins mischievously. “We’re going to rub it right in Avery’s dumb, smug face.”

It’s enough to coax a smile out of him.


----------​

Gran is shameless.

She fawns over Leon like he’s some sort of prince, not a doofus in a tacky cape. Makes him tea, asks about his travels, wants to know about his experiences with Dynamaxing. Old flirt. Not that she can blame her much.

Their conversation comes easily, floating across the room and causing a prickle of annoyance as Sonia tries to walk the boys through their new pokedex app.

Victor picks it up quickly, and retreats to one of the open chairs in the lobby to fiddle with it. Hop is clearly distracted, drumming his knuckles on the counter impatiently. She snaps her fingers, finally getting him to look at her. “Earth to Hop. Are you even listening?”

“Yeah,” he mutters. “Sorry.”

Sonia shakes her head. Leon’s right, much as she hates to admit it. His head is in the clouds. “You need to focus up. Getting distracted can cost you a lot.”

It strikes a nerve. He sighs and slumps on the counter, resting his chin on his hands. “Whatever. I can just figure it out as we go.”

He reminds her so much of Leon.

Sonia pops her gum loudly, fighting off a smirk when it startles him ever so slightly. “Suit yourself. Leon seemed to think it’d be useful, though.” She shrugs nonchalantly and leaves him to his own devices.

She ends up leaning against the back of Gran’s old leather armchair, twirling a lock of hair that tugged loose from her ponytail. Nervous habit. It’s just, beyond weird to see Leon sprawled on the sofa, hat laying across his lap, one arm draped over a throw pillow, and the other across the back. Like it’s the most natural thing in the world to be here, after everything.

He catches her eye and pauses in the middle of a story, “They all set?”

“Should be.”

Gran nudges his foot with her cane, “Tell me more about this Rowan fellow.”

“Actually,” Sonia butts in. “Leon, I was hoping to have a word with you.”

“Sure!” When he doesn’t move, she clears her throat and flicks her eyes toward the stairs, and he finally takes the hint. “Oh, yeah.”

She doesn’t like the smug look on Gran’s face.

The staircase leads up to the balcony, overlooking the rest of the lab and flanked by floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled to the brim. Sonia leans heavily on the metal railing, and resists the urge to shift to the side when Leon ends up following suit -- his elbow a hair’s breadth from hers. She hates that it’s distracting. She hates that he’s close enough she can smell his shampoo. Eight years and countless sponsorships later, and he uses the same fucking kind, and it’s still intoxicating. “What’s up, Sunny?”

And just like that, the spell is broken. “I thought I told you not to call me that.”

He chuckles, tilting his chin down sheepishly and failing to hide a flash of his teeth. His cap dangles from his hands. “Sorry, couldn’t resist. Am I in trouble?”

She snorts. “I was just curious why this year. Why not wait til he’s older to endorse him?”

“Hop?” He rubs at his chin, his stubble making a scratchy sound. “He’s been dying to challenge for years.”

“No, I mean,” she huffs, “why so young?”

He shrugs. “There’s been a push for endorsing younger challengers. They get more sponsors, more hype.”

“He’s thirteen, Leon.”

“And he’s been religiously studying my battles and researching since he was five. He’s saved every cent of his allowance for nearly as long.” He nudges her gently, “Sonia, he’s more prepared than we ever were. He’ll be okay. Victor, too.”

She doesn’t look at him. Her eyes are trained on the boys, who are chatting and messing around with their pokedex apps while their starters play around. Gizmo watches them lazily, occasionally sweeping his tail across the floor for Hop’s Scorbunny to chase.

When she speaks again, it’s practically a growl, “I still think Rose is an insufferable twat.”

Leon snorts, and reaches into his pocket. “You can tell him yourself, if you’d like.” He takes out his phone and pulls up an e-vite, grinning widely. “Opening ceremony is in a few days, after party’s going to be a lot of fun. You should come.”

Sonia eyes the ticket longingly. Lavish party? Excuse to dress up and escape the smothering confines of Wedgehurst? Remarkable food on Rose’s dime?

Leon, with everyone in the room clamoring for his attention...

Sonia frowns. She should decline.

But she’s already got the perfect dress in mind.

As I'm sure you may've guessed by now, the Nuzlocke at the core of this story is actually Sonia's journey. We'll be learning about it through flashbacks as she witnesses Hop and Victor's race to the league. Most of her major team members will make appearances in flashbacks (or present time, if they're still around), but for the sake of clarity I will post the team Sonia had at any given point along Hop and Victor's journey. For example, they're still in Postwick/Wedgehurst area for now, and at that point she only had her starter.

So who's ready for multiple chapters surrounding dinner party shenanigans?

Current Team (as of part iii.)
1594602917729.png
GIZMO
 

localhoney

grook
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
2002
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
241
Location
Miami, FL
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Electric, Poison
Pokédex Entry
Localhoney, the Sweet Toxin Pokemon. It's said that the sounds it emits can paralyze even a Gigantamax Grimmsnarl.
Dinner party shenanigans? I'm already in desperate need of the next update just for that!

But seriously, I think this is the chapter where Sonia's life felt the most real (she was real from the get-go ofc). Magnolia still loves Leon, probably still wonders what would happen if he and Sonia were to come back around. And that feeling is nicely cut through when Sonia is acutely aware of how odd it is for him to just be in her house, as if the past however many years never happened. You do a great job with making us feel like Sonia without Sonia saying how she feels, I'm so in love with it.

I also like the dig at Hop where she's like "Well, Leon said..." since she knows that's the catch-all button to push.
 

Tailsimp

A Universally Under-Rested University Imp
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
868
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
She should decline.

But she’s already got the perfect dress in mind.
Oh mood. I do love seeing how Sonia is getting sucked along for the ride bit by bit by bit as the story goes on. It's so easy to say "it's just a bbq, it's just a quick visit to my home, it's just a dinner party-" and before you know it you're following 2 kids around the region. I just hope these dinner party shenanigans work out at least mostly in Sonia's favor.

Also
When she speaks again, it’s practically a growl, “I still think Rose is an insufferable twat.”
She's right and she should say it.
 

Thirteenth

eternally crying over the botw trilogy
Writer
Pokédex No.
14
Caught
May 20, 2019
Messages
1,759
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ice
Pokédex Entry
The reason she guides people all the way down to the mountain's base is that she wants them to hurry up and leave.
“Earth to Leon. Are you even listening?”
“Earth to Hop. Are you even listening?”
hhhhhhhhhhh

Gran is shameless.

She fawns over Leon like he’s some sort of prince, not a doofus in a tacky cape. Makes him tea, asks about his travels, wants to know about his experiences with Dynamaxing. Old flirt. Not that she can blame her much.
Gran nudges his foot with her cane, “Tell me more about this Rowan fellow.”
btw the little we see of Magnolia here is so great, maybe my favorite we've seen of her yet hehe.

Also "Sunny" is so cute and Sonia dammit, you know you like it, let him call you Sunny it's adorable.

“No, I mean,” she huffs, “why so young?”

He shrugs. “There’s been a push for endorsing younger challengers. They get more sponsors, more hype.”

“He’s thirteen, Leon.”
All the cuteness aside, I'm excited for pain too, can't wait to see all the ways that Hop's and Victor's journeys get fucked up and whatever potential parallels there may be between their journeys and Sonia's and Leon's journeys back in the day.


But I'm also excited for nothing but dinner party shenanigans, sign me tf up
 

Tookie

The Immoral Bard
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
80
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
1,073
Location
Southern England
Nature
Lax
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Poison, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
This user does not exist. All impressions to the contrary are propaganda pieces and not to be trusted.
Oh boy, there really is nothing like traumatising teenagers through the consequences of bloodsport to keep the finances flowing, huh? i feel bad for looking forward to how hop grows through this, because it's gonna hurt

>Free food on Rose's dime?

i can't blame sonia here, because lord knows the likelihood of free food is how i make all of my decisions
 

Magicforbeginners

Generally Incompetent
Pokédex No.
2001
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
37
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Draws, writes, lives. Poorly, but always improving.
Denial is a river in Galar apparently

I love the idea here! The flashbacks are a great way to portray a Nuzlocke, and having Sonia as the star is the icing on the cake. She's got a great dynamic with Leon and Hop, and apparently has the single module of common sense between the three. I am ready for this dinner party. It's gonna go just fine.
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
844
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
Another great chapter! The idea of Sonia's nuzlocke being told through flashback... very intriguing, and I'm sort of tense/worried to see how it'll go. Gizmo got roughed up, poor pup, and he's the lucky one... ;;w;;

Echoing Thirteenth that I can't wait (but am also dreading!!) the inevitable pain train that's going to hit Hop and Victor head on. They're way too young to deal with what's inevitably going to be thrown their way...

And lastly, multi-chapter dinner party? Sign me the fuck UP, I can't wait. Also big mood on free food, it's the millennial curse: I can't count how many functions or events I couldn't care less about that I ended up going to because hey--dinner's on the house!
 

Garish Garchomp

Friendly Neighborhood Landshark
Administrator
Moderator
🌱Featurer
Writer
Pokédex No.
43
Caught
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
519
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
he's ok i guess
First off, fuck Avery.

Second off, that opening was so damn cute and I love the dynamic you set up back in the day, I love the lil bit about modeling a face after her grandma, I love Sunny as a nickname for her, it’s all just perfect.

Third off, fuck Avery.

I actually love the whole angle of kids getting more sponsors and hype? It feels backwards at first, but then I think about it and it makes sense to me at least in the same way as, like, baseball teams often love drafting high schoolers over college athletes. There’s just all that untapped potential and growth and all, not to mention what I imagine is a lot more ability to manipulate the kids (and/or parents) into sponsorships and whatnot.

Oh yeah, and lavish dinner party scene coming up? With Sonia in a bomb-ass dress? Can. Not. Wait.
 

Aurea

Moderator
Moderator
🎇Contributor
Writer
Pokédex No.
25
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
730
Location
Sinnoh Region
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Psychic, Steel
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #37
Dinner party shenanigans? I'm already in desperate need of the next update just for that!

But seriously, I think this is the chapter where Sonia's life felt the most real (she was real from the get-go ofc). Magnolia still loves Leon, probably still wonders what would happen if he and Sonia were to come back around. And that feeling is nicely cut through when Sonia is acutely aware of how odd it is for him to just be in her house, as if the past however many years never happened. You do a great job with making us feel like Sonia without Sonia saying how she feels, I'm so in love with it.

I also like the dig at Hop where she's like "Well, Leon said..." since she knows that's the catch-all button to push.
Dinner party shenanigans! Aka the height of my indulgence. Hope it doesn't disappoint!

Oh, I'm so glad it felt that way! Definitely pulling from some real-life experience here, where you have to kinda... reconcile the feeling that things just aren't the same between you and someone important to you, even if everyone else acts as though it is. And hehe, yes, Sonia knows exactly how to get through to Hop. xD

Oh mood. I do love seeing how Sonia is getting sucked along for the ride bit by bit by bit as the story goes on. It's so easy to say "it's just a bbq, it's just a quick visit to my home, it's just a dinner party-" and before you know it you're following 2 kids around the region. I just hope these dinner party shenanigans work out at least mostly in Sonia's favor.

Also

She's right and she should say it.
xD YUP. We all know where this is going. She's been cooped up for so long, working on research she's not passionate about, and so she's loathe to admit it but... she's excited for the excuse to get out and do something. As for how the party ends up for her, well. :')

hhhhhhhhhhh

btw the little we see of Magnolia here is so great, maybe my favorite we've seen of her yet hehe.

Also "Sunny" is so cute and Sonia dammit, you know you like it, let him call you Sunny it's adorable.

All the cuteness aside, I'm excited for pain too, can't wait to see all the ways that Hop's and Victor's journeys get fucked up and whatever potential parallels there may be between their journeys and Sonia's and Leon's journeys back in the day.

But I'm also excited for nothing but dinner party shenanigans, sign me tf up
i'm sorry I'm too lazy to add your quotes back in (and i hate that it cuts them out when I quote comments), but I love them, ty ;w;

Hehehe, I'm so glad your'e enjoying Magnolia so far! I've been worried I haven't been giving her enough time in the spotlight. Let's be real, he's never gonna give up calling her that. xD And hehe, don't worry, there's going to be plenty of pain. But! Dinner party shenanigans and pretty dresses, first.

Oh boy, there really is nothing like traumatising teenagers through the consequences of bloodsport to keep the finances flowing, huh? i feel bad for looking forward to how hop grows through this, because it's gonna hurt

>Free food on Rose's dime?

i can't blame sonia here, because lord knows the likelihood of free food is how i make all of my decisions
Nothing like it! Rose's fave past time, tbh. And ldkfj;aksd I mean I'm looking forward to writing it, too, so don't feel too bad! I really liked the basis of his character arc in SWSH, and I am excited to expand on it some. Honestly same, free food is the best draw to events.

Denial is a river in Galar apparently

I love the idea here! The flashbacks are a great way to portray a Nuzlocke, and having Sonia as the star is the icing on the cake. She's got a great dynamic with Leon and Hop, and apparently has the single module of common sense between the three. I am ready for this dinner party. It's gonna go just fine.
sdlfkja;sdk yes, indeed it is!

Thank you! The flashbacks have been a fun little challenge for me, and I'm excited to start incorporating them more and more. Glad the dynamics are hitting well between her and the Harris boys, and yes hehe, she holds their one collective braincell.

Another great chapter! The idea of Sonia's nuzlocke being told through flashback... very intriguing, and I'm sort of tense/worried to see how it'll go. Gizmo got roughed up, poor pup, and he's the lucky one... ;;w;;

Echoing Thirteenth that I can't wait (but am also dreading!!) the inevitable pain train that's going to hit Hop and Victor head on. They're way too young to deal with what's inevitably going to be thrown their way...

And lastly, multi-chapter dinner party? Sign me the fuck UP, I can't wait. Also big mood on free food, it's the millennial curse: I can't count how many functions or events I couldn't care less about that I ended up going to because hey--dinner's on the house!
I'm a little worried, too! ^^; It's very different from what I've written in the past, so it'll be interesting to see how it pans out. I'm excited to explore the possibilities of writing in this format, though. Should be fun! Glad everyone is looking forward to Hop and Victor's pain hehe, I'm excited to write it. Must be the millennial mood, because I am exactly the same way xD

First off, fuck Avery.

Second off, that opening was so damn cute and I love the dynamic you set up back in the day, I love the lil bit about modeling a face after her grandma, I love Sunny as a nickname for her, it’s all just perfect.

Third off, fuck Avery.

I actually love the whole angle of kids getting more sponsors and hype? It feels backwards at first, but then I think about it and it makes sense to me at least in the same way as, like, baseball teams often love drafting high schoolers over college athletes. There’s just all that untapped potential and growth and all, not to mention what I imagine is a lot more ability to manipulate the kids (and/or parents) into sponsorships and whatnot.

Oh yeah, and lavish dinner party scene coming up? With Sonia in a bomb-ass dress? Can. Not. Wait.
FUCK Avery lsdfa;ksdj He's such an obnoxious little prick lol. But aaaaa thank you! It's fun to get to write cute moments like that juxtaposed with... well, everything else. xD I'm glad it makes sense that there's a push for younger kids! I figure there's that untapped potential, yeah, as well as the chance for more errors that may create entertainment, and yeah, the sponsorships factoring in too!

iv.

They hear the stadium before they see it.

The week of Opening Ceremonies draws crowds from all over Galar, clogging the streets of Motostoke like the black smog that pours from the city’s smokestacks. Sonia leads Leon along by the hand so he doesn’t get lost, weaving in and out of the throng of spectators and following the roar of the stadium’s speakers. He bumbles along behind her, starry-eyed and gravitating toward every vendor they come across.

The lift carries them to the upper sector of the city, where the stadium sprawls before them. Registration is a whirlwind of making lodging accommodations, distributing customized jerseys, and logging their pokemon in the system. It’s overwhelming, but she holds fast to Leon’s hand and lets him take the lead, smiling and laughing and mingling with the rest of the contestants. She only hopes he doesn’t mind, but if he does, he doesn’t let on.

They’re forced to separate when the ceremony is about to begin, filed into locker rooms to change, then asked to line up by the numbers on their jerseys during the procession. Leon, having registered early enough to snag the coveted number one, will be amongst those leading the charge. He withdraws his hand reluctantly, flashing a huge grin at her and promising to catch her afterward.

She feels small, surrounded by hundreds of other contestants. They march as a unit through a tunnel beneath stands, and with every step she finds herself growing more and more anxious. The thought of being on display for all of Galar makes her dig her heels into the ground, stopping just short of the spotlight. She takes a step back, and is shouldered aside by one of the much older contestants. Self-doubt starts swirling in her chest like a storm, and she struggles to take a full breath.

A warm, steady hand slides in hers. She looks up at Leon, shocked to see him out of formation, and he shrugs. “Being up front is cool, but I wouldn’t even be here without you. You ready for this?”

He squeezes her hand, and they step onto the turf together.


-----------​

“What do you think? Too skimpy?”

Nessa doesn’t even look up from her phone. She’s laying belly down on the bed, ankles crossed behind her. “You realize you’re talking to someone who shows up to work every day in a bikini, yeah?”

Sonia purses her lips, hiking the gown and stepping further into the hotel room light, twirling in front of the floor length mirror. Runs her hands down her torso and over her hips to smooth the shimmery teal fabric, adjusts the plunging v, flares out the hem, admires the open back. It’s only when she makes a pleased little “hmph” that Nessa lays her phone down on the bed and wolf whistles. “Shit, Sonia, when’d you pick up that little number?”

“Online sale,” she says, idly twirling her hair back into a tight ringlet. “You don’t think the sequins are a bit much?”

“Definitely not,” Nessa purrs, sliding off the bed to admire it up close. “You’re going to absolutely slay Lee.”

Sonia can’t quite fight off a smirk. “Mm. I’m more concerned with not looking like a troll next to you.”

Nessa scoffs, already digging through her things that’ve been scattered haphazardly across the vanity. She retrieves a glittering diamond choker that nearly makes Sonia balk -- it’s got to be extremely expensive, even though it was probably a gift from Nessa’s sponsors -- and fastens it around her neck. She sweeps Sonia’s hair over one shoulder and narrows her eyes, clearly pleased with the adjustment, and winks coyly. “In a dress like that, you might stand a fighting chance.”

It’s a generous statement.

They spend all day lounging around the hotel room, swapping jewelry and shoes and stories, laughing until Sonia’s stomach hurts, and helping each other with makeup and hair. She’s missed this, she realizes, and it makes her heart feel full and empty simultaneously. Nessa and Raihan are always busy with their gyms and modeling, Leon’s the unbeatable champion and damn near inescapable as his face is plastered on everything across the region, and her?

She’s the disappointing lab assistant.

It’s hard to dwell on it though. Not when she’s having this much fun. Not when she feels like a goddamn mermaid, even next to Nessa in her intricate designer gown.

The feeling doesn’t resurface until they reach the gala.

Nessa squeezes her hand and winks as she flounces over to the other half of Galar’s hottest item. Raihan managed to put on a proper tux for once, looks like. He tucks Nessa under his arm roughly in a hug, hand resting on her hip, and the other waving Sonia over. Her stomach clenches, but her expression remains smooth and polished as porcelain.

“I see Nessa finally dragged you out of that stuffy ol’ lab!” he booms, eyes glittering with mischief. His breath is already sharp with alcohol. “How’ve ya been?”

“I’ll be better once I locate the bar. Seems you’re well acquainted with it already this evening.”

He howls his laughter, clapping her on the shoulder. His teeth gleam like the fangs of his dragons as he grins at her, “Cheers to that, mate. Put it on my tab, we’re celebrating tonight!”

“Celebrating?” Nessa asks, poking him in the side. “Didn’t you just have your ass handed to you in your exhibition match?”

“Bugger off, Nessie,” he slurs, palming her face and gently shoving her aside. “That match is old news. I’m talking about my new sponsorship I just scored!”

“Oh love,” Nessa tuts, pulling up her phone to burst his bubble, “you wanna talk sponsors...”

Raihan swipes the phone from her, tucking it in his breastpocket and laughing as she struggles to reach for it. Even in stilettos, she’s no match for his height. His laughter is like rolling thunder, volume amplified in the ornate ballroom. It sends shockwaves through the more civilized guests, drawing stares their way. He's always known how to draw attention to himself, good or bad.

Nessa tries to shush him through her giggles, which only eggs him on. Finally she grabs his lapels and yanks him downward, back to earth, shutting him up by kissing the breath out of him. When they finally come back up for air, Nessa has successfully retrieved her phone -- and Sonia is halfway to the bar.

Classical music filters through the din of people mixing and mingling, courtesy of the string quartet near the stage. She orders a double martini, and when she asks to put it on Raihan’s tab the barkeep snorts. “Open bar, miss.”

Her mouth twitches into something resembling a grin. She should’ve known, cheeky little shit. “Then a single will do for now.”

She watches Nessa and Raihan from across the room, oblivious to her absence. There should only be room for joy when she sees how happy they are -- joy that they’ve found each other, that they’re thriving personally and professionally. Nessa’s her best friend, and Raihan’s a well-meaning doof at worst. She loves the hell out of them both.

But something ugly, something she’s not proud of, coils in her gut.

She intends to drown it with alcohol.

Sonia’s polishing off her second martini when Rose takes the stage, and her lip involuntarily curls. His white tux is accented with a single red rose in his breastpocket, and she chooses to focus on that when he speaks -- not on his perfectly coiffed hair, the flourish of his hands, or the way everyone else in the room hangs on his every word.

The second he introduces the champion and Leon takes the stage, everyone is drawn to them like a magnet. She hooks her heel on the bar stool, anchoring herself there as she takes a gulp of her drink, and glances around to see if anyone else is immune to their pull.

She’s surprised to see Hop, of all people, slumped on a couch with a scowl that must match hers.

Curious.

She follows his glare across the ballroom to where Leon and the chairman are conversing, and -- oh, that was a mistake. Leon catches her watching, and she finds herself subconsciously straightening her posture, batting her lashes longingly. At her drink. She holds it up as if to inspect it, the center of her attention and affection, the only thing that can quench her thirst.

She’s never been the most convincing liar.

It takes him a while to get to her, wading through a throng of admirers seeking his attention or an autograph, but when he says hello, his voice sounds breathy and weak. It only serves to fuel her, and she crosses her legs daintily. “Good evening, Leon.”

“I’m so glad you decided to come, Sonia,” he says, settling into the stool next to hers. He doesn’t move to order a drink -- instead drinks her in -- eyes skimming her in a way that leaves her warm and tingling. And maybe a little smug. “You look absolutely ravishing.”

“Thank you.” She runs her tongue across the inside of her lip, hazarding a glance at his getup. Maroon suit coat with gold buttons, white silk jabot, tan pants tucked into sleek black riding boots and of course... “You almost manage to pull off a cape with a suit.”

He exhales a laugh through his nose, shaking his head. “Rose insisted. Makes the sponsors happy and all.” He tugs at the faux fur that lines the nape of his neck. “I normally don’t mind, but it’s rather hot in here.”

Sonia raises an eyebrow. “Oh?”

“Too many people,” he says quickly. Clears his throat, leans with his back against the bar and rests his elbows on the counter. “Good turnout this year, for the challenge.”

She decides to take pity on him, and go along with his not-so-subtle redirect. “Helps that you’ve got a larger sample size, since Rose insists on cradle-robbing. I imagine half’ll drop out before Kabu.”

“Maybe so,” he muses. After a beat he stands, turns and bows his head, extending his hand for her to take. “What say we join our friends, hm?”

The grand gesture is meant to be overblown and silly, but she can’t help but wonder if Rose’s egregious ways haven’t begun to rub off on him. Sonia takes his gloved hand in both of hers, patting it gently to decline. She is very aware of all eyes on her -- every admirer in the room must be wondering if she’s off her rocker for rejecting him. “I’ll catch up with you lot soon. There’s something I need to do first.”

If Leon’s hurt, he doesn’t let it show. Takes it in stride with a charming, too-perfect smile. It makes her stomach clench -- Rose must’ve found that chipped lower tooth of his unsightly and sprung for veneers. She hates him for it. It’s like he’s picked apart everything she once loved about the man in front of her and polished it beyond recognition.

But it’s still Leon who winks and squeezes her hand. “Save a dance for me, will you?”

She smiles serenely, and flags the barkeep. “But of course.”

There are a lot of things I really love about this part, and a few things I'm still iffy about. But I officially start grad school tomorrow, which means I may slow down on updates until I figure out my new routine, so I wanted to get this posted beforehand.

For those that are curious, here's a link to the inspo for Sonia's gown, and the one for Nessa's as well. I've been so excited to introduce Nessa, and she's one of the reasons this dinner party ended up lasting over the course of a few parts. ^^ I think part v. is my favorite that I've written so far, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with y'all next time!

I pretty much blitzed through the Wild Area to avoid accidentally running into high level mons, so only one new addition this chapter.

Current Team (as of part iv.)
GIZMO
ROOK
 

Tailsimp

A Universally Under-Rested University Imp
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
868
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
Ohhh this chapter was a fun start to the dinner party shenanigans. I love Sonia and Nessa being such good friends, and the way just hanging put made Sonia cheer up. I also really like the touch that Sonia's jealousy makes it hard for her to enjoy her friends' successes. Its ugly, but very human.

The opening seen was very sweet. And I also find the line about Sonia resenting Rose for "polishing Leon beyond recognition" really interesting! I'm very interested to see where her conflict with Rose goes!
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
844
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
I love love love glamorous dinner party settings! The intrigue, the way that the thrum of the room sashays from this way to that, dodging or clawing into the spotlight, watching from afar... it's never a bad choice for a setup in a story, and you do it justice here! Sonia's jealousy of Raihan and Nessa is super relatable, as is her disgust at her own feelings. Rose remains a slimeball (I love when fics actually make him into a villain--you and glance are both doing great at that) and that interaction between her and Lee at the end is sublime. So slick. You say this is your favorite chapter so far? I believe it~

Looking forward to more!
 

Thirteenth

eternally crying over the botw trilogy
Writer
Pokédex No.
14
Caught
May 20, 2019
Messages
1,759
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ice
Pokédex Entry
The reason she guides people all the way down to the mountain's base is that she wants them to hurry up and leave.
A warm, steady hand slides in hers. She looks up at Leon, shocked to see him out of formation, and he shrugs. “Being up front is cool, but I wouldn’t even be here without you. You ready for this?”

He squeezes her hand, and they step onto the turf together.
oh my heart...😭

Oh but Sonia feeling out of place back then, and then feeling out of place now, with her friends?? Sonia, please.

Btw thank you once again for the Nessa/Raihan content, I adore them...

She holds it up as if to inspect it, the center of her attention and affection, the only thing that can quench her thirst.
Mmhmm, sure, just the martini.

He doesn’t move to order a drink -- instead drinks her in -- eyes skimming her in a way that leaves her warm and tingling. And maybe a little smug. “You look absolutely ravishing.”
👏 You know you love her, Leon.

“I normally don’t mind, but it’s rather hot in here.”

Sonia raises an eyebrow. “Oh?”

“Too many people,” he says quickly.
Mmhmm. God these two are helpless.

Takes it in stride with a charming, too-perfect smile. It makes her stomach clench -- Rose must’ve found that chipped lower tooth of his unsightly and sprung for veneers. She hates him for it. It’s like he’s picked apart everything she once loved about the man in front of her and polished it beyond recognition.
Oh god right, I forgot about this. ;;; One thing I really like about this drabble is how it kinda twines her distaste for Rose with her issues with Leon, related but distinct from each other.


Thank you for this, I'm a ho for all of it. 💙
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top